Updated March 17, 2023
Introduction to Goto Statement in C
Depending upon the requirement, we do have several programming languages that could be used to develop programs or applications. These days, the languages frequently used high-level language and assembly language, which hold their own importance when it comes to various requirements. Here we are going to focus on one of the modules of the C language. C language may be defined as the procedural language which Dennis Ritchie developed. It was developed between 1969 and 1973. The C language’s main purpose was to develop the operating system, and the UNIX OS we use these days was developed in this language only. Now let’s move ahead to explore the Goto Statement. In this topic, we are going to learn about Goto Statement in C.
What is Goto Statement?
Goto Statement may be defined as the jump statement that helps in jumping the program execution control from one block to another. It is mainly introduced to define the control flow of the program. Sometimes it can also be used to create the loop in some specific manner, but that’s not its purpose. There are several options available in C, but the Goto statement plays a vital role by defining how the program will work or will be executed. It can be implemented in the program using the goto keyword together with the label name.
Goto is the keyword that is used to implement the control jumping functionality in the program. The labelname wrote after the goto keyword is the arbitrary name that demonstrates where the control has to jump after the program comes across the jump statement. The next line has only the labelname, and in order to jump the control of the program from wherever the Goto statement is written to wherever the labelname is written. It is not imperative that the control has to be moved only after the Goto statement. It can also be jumped before the line where the goto statement was defined. We can also use more than one goto statement in a program based on the requirement.
How does the goto Statement work in C?
The goto statement’s working is very simple and can be used with very easy to introduce the control jumping mechanism in the program written in C. In order to work with the goto statement, we will need to define the goto statement, which can be done using the goto keyword followed by the labelname. Once the goto statement is defined, we will need to mention the labelname anywhere throughout the program where the control has to be jumped when the compiler witnesses the goto statement.
Examples of Goto Statement in c
Let us understand how it actually works using an example.
int a = 1;
printf("%d \n", a);
if (a <= 5)
The above code will give the output as 1 2 3 4 5. The control follows the top to bottom approach in C language, and hence it was moving downwards until the goto statement was witnessed. Once the compiler found the goto statement, it jumped the control to the 6th line where the label was written, and till the value of a become more than 5, the same was repeated over and over. It works in a simple and sorted mechanism that whenever the goto statement is witnessed, just jump the control of the program where the label name is mentioned, which was used while defining the goto statement.
Advantage and Limitation of the goto statement
The programmers who use the C language for programming can take leverage of the goto statement while those working in the high-level language cannot as this option is not available in the high-level languages. As it is available in C, it exists with some of the great advantages that help make the programming easy. The goto statement usage is very simple and also very convenient to understand. The thing is like, just mention where you want the flow to be jumped, and the compiler will make it happen for you. Due to its this advantage, it is used by the programmer while developing any program.
Together with the advantage, it also has some of the disadvantages or limitations due to which this functionality is not available in high-level programming languages like Java or python. Though it is easy and simple to use, it makes the program very complicated when it is used various times in a single program. There is a loop concept available to make anything happen while the repetitive task is required to be done. The goto statement works with not rule at all. Just mention it, and it will work, and it the main reason this functionality was not made available in the high-level languages.
Goto’s statement can be considered the jumping statement, which makes the program flow in the desired manner, leading to the expected outcome. It comes with its own advantages and disadvantages. Depending on the program’s size and complexity, it depends on whether it is going to exist there with an advantage or will lead to its limitation. It was introduced in the C language to make the program transfer its control wherever it has to build an efficient operating system. But later on, it was identified that extensive usage of this statement was causing complications in the program.
When we talk about writing small programs in the C language, it is very helpful to use the goto statement and make the program work in the way you want, but when it comes to developing the program that has hundreds and thousands of line, it is not suggested to use the goto statement. It will end by making the program way too complicated, and the other developers will not be able to understand that. We need to take care of where we are going to use it to make sure that it could be used to make the program simple.
This is a guide to Goto Statement in C. Here we discuss How does goto statement Works in C with examples, advantages, and limitations. You may also look at the following article to learn more –